Greek Goddess Origins

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Greek Goddess Origins

ArtemisArtemis was regarded by the ancient Greeks as the goddess of the hunt. Hunting was an important part of Greek life. Although they developed agriculture and animal domestication over the centuries, their cultural roots were tied to the hunting of wild animals. Hunters offered Artemis the heads, antlers, or skins of their prey, and fishermen offered parts of their catch to her.

AthenaAthena was generally a kind goddess. She promoted good government and looked after the welfare of kings who asked her for guidance. Athena, as the protector of Athens, was no doubt a figure whose importance was tied directly to Athens as a Greek center of power. Her qualities reflect the same qualities that Athenians saw in themselves, as well as the qualities they aspired to achieve.

HeraHera's long lasting bond with Zeus reflects the importance of marriage in Greece, and also shows how husbands and wives were treated differently. Men spent more time away from home while women, being in charge of the household, had limited contact with other men. It seems likely that Greek husbands had more opportunity to be unfaithful. Divorces caused by cheating were not uncommon, but a wife would usually have to get permission from her family before seeking a divorce. This meant that the divorce process was more difficult for a woman than for a man. Wives tended to remain married even if their husbands were unfaithful. However, the myths of Hera and how she punished Zeus and his wives illustrate the kinds of vengeance a wife could inflict.

AphroditeThe Ancient Greeks placed great importance on physical beauty because they believed the physical body reflected the mind and spirit. A beautiful person, according to the Ancient Greeks, was more likely to have more desirable mental skills and personality traits. Unlike modern time, where most people know your look has nothing to do with your mind, physical beauty was very important to Ancient Greece.

PersephonePersephone was the daughter of Demeter, and goddess of flowers. It is said that one day, when she was out picking flowers, Hades kidnapped her and brought her down to be queen of the Underworld. Hestia, in despair and constantly searching for her daughter, abandoned the crops and nature. When Persephone was found, Zeus made an agreement with Hades. For four seasons, one for each pomegranate seed she had eaten while in the underworld, Persephone had to stay with Hades. This Greek myth is used to explain the seasons.

DemeterAgriculture was the foundation of the Ancient Greeks. Three out of every four ancient Greeks were involved in growing, preparing or distributing food for their job. For this reason, Demeter- who had full control over the seasons and the crops- was an extremely important goddess to worship. The main crops grown were grains such as barley and wheat. Olive trees, which provided rich and flavourful olive oil, were very important to Greek agriculture as they made up most of a Greek meal.

HestiaHestia was the Ancient Greek goddess of the Hearth, not much was known about or spoken of her, but she was a significant goddess. It is said that in each Ancient Greek village, a hearth was always kept burning to show that Hestia was watching over them. Though Prometheus brought the flame down to earth, the hearth was a symbol for warmth and life, making Hestia a simple yet significant goddess.

Greek Goddess Origins


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